The Mets like Brandon Nimmo a lot, so much so in fact that they balked at trading the former first round pick to the Pirates in a deal for Andrew McCutchen, opting to sign Jay Bruce to a deal instead, reports Ken Rosenthal.
Rosenthal says the Mets would rather sign free agents than deal from their limited pool of controllable young talent. Nimmo is under team control for five more seasons.
Sources told Rosenthal that the Mets believe Nimmo could work as a centerpiece of a Josh Harrison trade, too. However, New York is more likely to explore the free agent market for an infield upgrade than deal Nimmo.
I'm still high on Nimmo. He's been an on-base machine at every level (as high as .423 in his time at Triple A in 2016), and I'm tempted to see if that .379 OBP he posted in Queens in 2017 can translate over a full slate of Major League games. Also, I think he could really form a good tandem with Juan Lagares in a centerfield platoon.
So as part of a McCutchen deal (it's very likely it wasn't a straight up swap that was on the table), I don't think I would have done that either, especially considering McCutchen's declining defensive skills and the fact that he's under team control for only one more season.
However, I might reconsider if the Mets could pry Harrison away from Pittsburgh. Not only does Harrison come with three years of control, but with Bruce in the fold, and Adrian Gonzalez on board as Dom Smith insurance, it's just as likely that Nimmo sees a reduction in playing time as it is that he gets 500 plate appearances.
Provided Gonzalez and/or Smith are producing at first when Michael Conforto returns from injury, Conforto probably will play the bulk of his time in centerfield, with Bruce remaining in right. The only way that goes awry is if both Smith proves unready for the every day job and Gonzalez is indeed done as a Major Leaguer. Then Bruce can play first, with Conforto in right, and the Nimmo/Lagares platoon in center.
So I might gamble away some depth...if I could get Harrison, who would prove to be a massive upgrade over the in-house options at third/second. But that said, it certainly looks like Sandy sees trading Nimmo as a last resort, and based on all the pieces together, I can see why.